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Post-punk popsters Longwave got their start in 1999 when Steve Schlitz (vocals/guitar), Shannon Ferguson (guitar), Dave Marchese (bass), and Mike James (drums) congregated in a small New York studio to record some demos. The lineup had been fledgling for a number of years and Schlitz had been sitting on a stack of sweeping melodies, but once Ferguson left the sunny skies of California behind Longwave developed a space rock-tinged sound. Gigs in lower Manhattan melded the group's U2-inspired sound and also caught the eye of Luna Lounge owner Rob Sacher. Sacher founded Luna Sea Records soon after spotting Longwave and offered the band a deal. Endsongs marked Longwave's debut in fall 2000. It was an impressive first record full of lush string arrangements surfing around heavy guitars, certainly a different fit to what was currently happening in New York City at the time; the Strokes were hot and Detroit's own White Stripes were on a rock rampage. In 2002, Longwave formulated a darker disposition for the Day Sleeper EP. Within a week of its release, the Strokes' manager asked Longwave to play three dates with his stylish, rambunctious five-piece. The Strokes were so impressed, Longwave landed the opening spot for the rest of the tour. Such an opportunity allowed great publicity for the band, not to mention a contract with RCA. Producer Dave Fridmann (the Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Mogwai) collected the band in his Tarbox Road Studio in up-state New York to work on Longwave's major-label debut before the year's end. What followed was the dreamy williwaw of The Strangest Things, released in March 2003. MacKenzie Wilson

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